Wednesday 20 November 2013

An Element of Luck

Woody Allen's Matchpoint is probably one of my favourite films, despite the fact that no one taught the actors how to properly hold a tennis racquet. The opening lines provide some much insight into the film's pensive objective:

The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It's scary to think so much is out of one's control. There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn't, and you lose.

I've often observed that good fortune seems to follow certain people, and others seems plagued with misfortune. People who always seem to be in the right place at the right time. Those who win raffles and other games of chance. My Australian friend Kylie has a former colleague who fits into that category. She and her husband were considering moving to LA to be closer to his family. At a conference, she ran into someone who offered her a great job in that area. The starting salary was already a sizable increase from her current income, but within a few months they gave her a pay raise and an expense account for clothes. I don't doubt that she works hard, but she doesn't necessarily put in more hours than others in her field who were taking pay cuts just to hold a job in the ailing economy. They bought their house on a short sale and got a steal of a deal. She conceived from a one hit wonder and delivered a healthy girl. It just always seemed that when Kylie was providing an update on her friend, she was announcing even more good news.

Then there seem to be others who live under a black cloud. No matter how hard they work, they seem to be haunted by unfortunate occurrences and events. They suffer setback after setback and can't seem to catch a break. In a crowded car park, the run away shopping cart will hit and dent their car. If there is a rare medication reaction or complication, it will happen to them. They seem to find themselves on the adverse side of long odds. This includes those who experience infertility and pregnancy loss.

Yes, no one can deny that an element of luck that operates in one's life, and as the quote notes, people seem reluctant to admit just how much of a role luck plays in their lives. We started the IVF process believing that we were reasonable candidates and felt that we had a decent shot. Although I've felt that notion has been challenged at times, both my RE and embryologist have reassured us that there is some room for optimism within rational expectations. "If you get pregnant, I won't be surprised. If you don't get pregnant, I won't be surprised." My RE summarised with a description that feels like that tennis ball bouncing on the net; only that split second is 10 days until we learn which side the ball lands.

Post transfer it seems as if it is all down to luck at this point in time. I feel I've been served with a reasonable amount of good fortune in my life, has my luck run out? Or does my inexperience with infertility and my miscarriage represent enough bad luck that I'm due for some good karma? It feels as if I am asking a lot from luck right now. I want this treatment to succeed in creating a pregnancy, but I only want it to yield one baby. Is it too harsh that I'm rooting for one embryo at the expense of the other?

I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?


  1. One of my friends recently told me that bad luck can't last forever... it's bound to change as some point, it just has to :)

  2. You've done all you can and your work is done. I agree with Aubrey. Some of us have to try at this longer, but at some point the right key will open that stubborn door.

  3. I felt the same way after transfer. It's odd because everything leading up to where you are today is so scientific, and then it feels like afterwards it's just the opposite. All about luck and the universe.

    I will be sending you tons of good vibes and hoping that you are one of the lucky ones :)

  4. Like you, I feel that I've been lucky in many aspects of life. It almost feels too much to ask to also be lucky in yet another area. First I wasn't, then I was (IVF #1 got me pregnant), then I wasn't when we lost the babies.
    I hope both of us can get lucky in this arena someday, and soon.

  5. I'm thinking of you today, friend. If my math is correct, more than 60 hours have passed since your post the other day. I've got no words of wisdom (ha) or encouragement or whatever. Just wanted you to know you're on my mind. xo

  6. I feel like that too...trying to parse out my luck to figure out if I've had enough crap happen to "deserve" a BFP. But I know deep down that it's BS, and what's happened in the past is no predictor of what's to come. That said, I don't think I've ever hoped harder for a person I don't even know to get pregnant. Thinking of you lots.

  7. I'm really hoping that luck is on your side in this instance, my friend.